By Lobsang Wangyal
MCLEOD GANJ, India, 30 November 2013
A lone cyclist touring the world to raise awareness about the suffering of Tibetans under the repressive Chinese rule concluded his rally in McLeod Ganj.
Rinpo Yak was welcomed amid cheers as he arrived at the heart of Tibetan Diaspora by Tibetans and their supporters waving Tibetan flags and khata [ceremonial scarves]. Cars and motorcycles escorted Rinpo on the last leg of his tour.
Rinpo had embarked on his solitary cycle rally from Brussels on 10 March, with the purpose to highlight “the true aspirations of the self-immolations in Tibet.” As many as 123 Tibetans have set themselves on fire calling for freedom in Tibet and the return of the Dalai Lama.
He cycled in 13 European countries, and then travelled in Asia in Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Nepal, and India. He has cycled for 266 days in all in these countries.
In a brief speech he explained his mission of cycling from Europe to Asia to raise awareness about the Tibetan situation, and called for unity of the Tibetan people.
Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile Penpa Tsering, the chief guest at the felicitation function, applauded Rinpo Yak’s efforts and courage. He also appreciated the support and understanding of Rinpo’s wife for creating the opportunity for him to do the world tour.
Tsering asked Tibetans to draw inspiration from Rinpo to work towards the Tibetan freedom struggle.
“it’s us Tibetans who will have to work to free Tibet,” Tsering said.
Rinpo has been actively engaged in political activities since 2000. He has organised peace marches, prostration events, and cycle rallies throughout almost all the states in the US.
He is 42 years old and father of two young teenagers, currently looked after by his wife in Minneapolis.